Clayver: a new ceramic vessel for elevage

Picture courtesy Jarkko Peranen

I have just written up the wines of Candialle, a Chianti producer run by ex-pat Finnish winegrower Jarkko Peränen. He has been experimenting with a new vessel for fermenting and ageing wine, called Clayver.

First we had oak barrels, then concrete eggs, then back to terracotta, and now? Ceramic balls.

Jarkko has 10% of [...]

Young wine writers: be as brilliant as you can

Earlier today I wrote a deeply ironic blog post encouraging young wine writers not to be too smart, because this would upset potentially helpful established writers. Some people have interpreted this the wrong way and have taken it literally, which would of course make it out to be deeply cynical.

It’s clearly bad advice. Indeed, I [...]

Young wine writers: don't be too smart

One thing I have noticed, coming into wine writing from the outside, is that there’s generally a warm welcome for newcomers. Established wine writers are, in my experience, generally quite encouraging to newer, emerging voices. Up to a point. While there’s an enthusiasm for fresh faces, there’s also a reluctance to give up further slices [...]

On cycling

I have discovered cycling. Don’t worry: I’m not about to don lycra, spend thousands of pounds on a racing bike, and start posting (boasting?) my Strava stats on social media. It’s just that I have discovered the pleasure that cycling can bring. Suddenly, on two wheels, any journey is fun.

I have my new Finnish friends [...]

Single critic opinions or panel tastings? Which is the best?

Yesterday Tim Atkin released his South African wine report. It’s created quite a bit of discussion, and it’s also raised once again for me the question of single critics versus panel tastings. Which is the best?

Tim has worked very hard tasting a lot of wines, as do the competing critics from the big publications such [...]

Lunch at Greg with Neal and Gareth, including some nice wines

Lunch at Greg Sherwood’s place (christening his new kitchen!). So it was Sunday, and we were off to Greg Sherwood’s gaff in St Margarets for some food and wine. It is probably close to the truth to suggest that when I accepted the invitation, I suspected that an extended lunch was in prospect. Joined by [...]

Napue, a superb Finnish gin

Tried this superb gin in Finland. It’s a small-batch rye gin from the Kyrö Distillery Company in Isokyrö. This was set up by a group of five friends (Miika, Miko, Mikka, Kalle and Jouni), and originally focused on producing Finland’s first rye whisky (naturally, being Finland, they conceived the idea in a sauna). They set up a [...]

Costière Denim

This is a guest post from Daniel Primack. I met him for dinner recently, but before we ate we popped into one of his favourite shops, Rivet and Hide. Here I had a quick chat with the owner, Danny Hodgson. It struck me how similar what he was doing – curating a shop with fine [...]

The blogger blackmail saga

The internet is currently on fire with a spat between a blogger and an artisan patisserie owner, and it has a hashtag all of its own: #bloggerblackmail. It would be quite funny, if it wasn’t for the fact that real people with real feelings are involved. From a distance, this is what appears to have happened. [...]

Gamay Focus 11, Château de Beauregard Fleurie Poncié 2013

Continuing the Gamay journey, it’s back to Beaujolais.

This Fleurie is from a sixth-generation family producer, and the vineyard is managed to promote microbial life, although it isn’t certified organic. The family have owned this Poncié plot since 1872, and it’s on a steep slope which tops out at 400 m. Soils are decomposed granite, and [...]